2022 is almost gone and 2023 is rapidly approaching, how is your health?
Every year at this time, millions of people around the world are making promises to themselves that they are going to lose weight in the new year. Most people want to blame the fall and winter holiday season on their weight gain, but the truth is, the problem is one that is occurring throughout the entire year. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, and retirement ceremonies keep some people eating poorly all year long. The problem with this is there are millions of people who are too fat, and sadly this includes far too many of our children. My friends, the issue of obesity should not be solely a vanity issue based on your looks – the real travesty about obesity is the impact that it has on your health.
Think what you want about what you eat and how it affects you, millions of people world-wide suffer poor health precisely because of what they eat. This is a fact of life whether you care to admit it or not. Facts do not care about your feelings. If you are overweight, or obese, you are eating too many calories and carbohydrates. You are also more than likely consuming highly palatable foods with low nutrition and high caloric values which the human body was never meant to eat.
In writing this article I am most certainly not being judgmental about you – I just happen to honestly believe that sugar coated and comforting words are not helpful to anyone.
Our bodies have not evolved to eat junk food!
The heavily processed foods of today that we consume are loaded up with added sugars and chemical preservatives which are horrible for both our health and our waistlines. Thousands of years ago up until the last thirty years or so, it was rare for people to have significant weight problems. People used to be lean because they consumed very few refined, simple carbohydrates simply because they were not available to them. Our ancestors ate mostly meat for protein along with grains, fruits and vegetables for their carbohydrate needs.
The marketing of all this garbage that is called food today, bombards us with an overabundance of refined carbohydrates that allegedly make your life more simple and convenient. However, when your diet takes a toll on your health, regular trips to see your doctor is never a convenience, nor is it inexpensive.
Insulin Resistance is a serious health issue!
The consumption of excessive calories totaling more than your body requires are stored as fat. If you are overweight, you are eating more calories than you need. And most of these calories will be coming from carbohydrates which serve to cause insulin resistance. When you spend your day chowing down more carbohydrates than your body requires for energy, your insulin never has the opportunity to drop back down to normal levels. When repeated hits of glucose causes sugar to invade your bloodstream, it causes waves of high insulin which causes hypoglycemia.
Hypoglycemia is the reason you are prone to extreme cravings for more and more carbohydrates. This fact is a matter of a chemical and biological response within your body that is only controlled by what you put into your mouth each time that you eat. Carbs make glucose – glucose needs insulin – insulin causes fat gain, and the vicious cycle never ends until you change your nutritional lifestyle.
If you want to lose weight, and improve your health, then you must stop the insulin/glucose rollercoaster – and you must stop it for the rest of your life. The result if you do not change your nutrition lifestyle is insulin resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and quite possibly the development of Type 2 Diabetes.
Your Health Assessment for Insulin Resistance
Do you have now, or have you ever had any of the following?
- A family history of diabetes, overweight problems, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels, heart disease, or stroke.
- Frequent cravings for sweet, or salty, crunchy snack foods.
- The need to eat often, or to eat excessive amounts of food.
- A difficult time losing weight even if you exercise or cut back on your food intake.
- A problem with weight gain even when eating small amounts of food.
- Weight gain, mostly around your waist.
- Skin tags (small, painless, flappy skin growths) on your neck, chest, breasts, groin area, or underarms.
- A history of irregular menstrual periods, especially skipping months.
- A history of polycystic ovarian disease.
- High triglyceride levels.
- Low HDL cholesterol (the good type).
- High LDL cholesterol (the bad type).
- High, or borderline high blood pressure – even during pregnancy.
- Waist measurement of more than thirty-five inches for women, or more than forty inches for men.
- The feeling that you are addicted to carbohydrates.
- The feeling that you have no willpower when it comes to dieting.
- Jitteriness, difficulty thinking, headaches, or nausea that goes away when you eat.
- Afternoon fatigue.
- Type 2 diabetes, borderline diabetes, or abnormal glucose tolerance tests – even just during pregnancy.
- High uric acid, or gout.
- History of having a blood clot in your legs, lungs, or brain.
- A doctor telling you that you need to eat less in order to lose weight, yet those close to you are surprised at how little you eat.
- The belief that you are at least thirty-five pounds overweight.
- A body mass index of thirty or higher.
If three or more of the above statements apply to you, it is a good possibility that you are insulin resistant. The more that apply to you, the higher your risk rises. If you have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal lipids, heart attacks, or strokes, insulin resistance has placed a target right square in the middle of your back for attack. Once again, when it comes to your health, facts do not care about your feelings. Each one of those line items are directly correlated to what, and how much you eat.
Now, once again review the list above and see if any of these conditions apply to you:
- High blood pressure
- Low HDL
- High LDL
- High Triglycerides
- Overweight by at least thirty pounds
- BMI of 30 or over
- Hypoglycemia symptoms
- Abnormal glucose tolerance test
- High uric acid
If any of those conditions apply to you, then you are likely to have full insulin-resistance syndrome, or Metabolic Syndrome. These symptoms mean that you are at a significant risk of health problems either now or in the future.
Your Health is EVERYTHING!
God only blessed us with one body and one life, there are no do-overs. Therefore it is our responsibility to honor our Father in Heaven by taking care of our health. Do yourself a favor, if your health is suffering as a result of your nutritional choices, take ownership of it and do not make excuses about your weight, and the foods that you eat.
Excuses are weak, and lame, and will never contribute to improving your health.
Lastly, do not lie to yourself and take on the belief that your health – especially if you have any of the above conditions – can, or should be, controlled by medical intervention alone. If you are serious about improving your health outcomes, you will make the permanent lifestyle changes required to turn it all around – temporary dieting is not going to cut it.
You have to change for the better for your health to change for the better.
This is not impossible for anyone.
You are stronger and more capable than you know.
NIH National Library of Medicine